27 May 2008 - 70 Comments
While the RadeonHD developers have been busy working on Radeon HD 3200 / 780 Series support and other features for this open-source ATI R500/600+ driver, the DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) support has been lagging behind. Earlier this month Matthias Hopf was successful in getting DRM working on an RS690 GPU and he has published RadeonHD DRM code into his personal development tree, but no code has yet to reach master. Meanwhile, as the xf86-video-ati driver is using AtomBIOS, they are able to spend more time working on the 3D features and other areas and less time "banging on registers" or even waiting on register documentation to arrive. David Airlie has been working on the R500 3D support along with Alex Deucher and Corbin Simpson. The trio has been making some great headway towards open-source 3D goodness for Radeon X1000 and HD 2000/3000 GPUs. Their most recent efforts have focused around the R500 fragment program code and today they have reached a monumental milestone.
The AMD 780 Series Chipsets have been available for nearly four months now, and supporting the Radeon HD 3200 graphics since day one has been AMD's proprietary Catalyst driver. On the open-source side, there has been the Radeon HD 3200 / 780G support quite quickly through the xf86-video-ati driver due to its use of AtomBIOS, but the support within the RadeonHD driver hadn't arrived until earlier today. Thanks to 22 code commits made to the mainline xf86-video-radeonhd git tree, it's now possible to use this newest AMD integrated graphics processor with this Novell-spawned driver.
Earlier this month we announced that AMD would soon be releasing their Stream SDK for Linux, and just before the start of the weekend this inaugural release had occurred. The Linux release of the AMD Stream SDK v1.1 Beta brings both CAL and Brook+ for those using ATI/AMD graphics hardware. This v1.1 Beta release is also in tune with the new beta release for Microsoft Windows XP.
21 May 2008 - 215 Comments
All of the Catalyst Linux driver releases this year have been... well, boring. There have been a few bug fixes in each release and new product support for the latest ATI/AMD GPUs, but no major features have been introduced in several months. However, during this time we've been telling you to get ready for an interesting summer and that "we have reason to believe AMD does have some Linux work under development that could make 2007 look boring compared to this year." It was in 2007 that AMD had introduced their brand-new driver with AIGLX support. Well, with the release today of Catalyst 8.5 the monthly Linux driver releases are becoming more interesting and we should have several exciting months ahead. What does today's Linux driver bring to the table? We'll give you the run-down in this article, but to get you started there is now Catalyst AI, Linux 2.6.25 support, and much improved 2D performance!
In the 39th edition of the Nouveau Companion, this open-source NVIDIA driver development crew talks about their latest driver achievements over the past few weeks. Among the progress made includes further enhancing the NV50 support, a Nouveau XvMC implementation for Gallium3D (initially through a software-based implementation), and MMioTrace being postponed to the Linux 2.6.27 kernel.
Last month we reported on VIA's new open-source driver efforts that was announced at the LF Austin Summit. This new strategy involves VIA providing the open-source community with NDA-free hardware specifications, code, and other resources -- in a similar fashion to what ATI/AMD and Intel have been doing for some time now. However, not everyone has been satisfied by this announcement and their new Linux website isn't yet exactly useful. We explore the VIA Linux situation in this article as well as sharing what two open-source developers have to say.
19 April 2008 - 9 Comments
There are many new and innovative features brewing within the X.Org development community right now -- among the many are Gallium3D, the TTM memory manager, and MPX (Multi-Pointer X) -- but one of the features that has risen towards the top of the list and delivers visible benefits to the end-user is kernel-based mode-setting. As implied by its name, kernel mode-setting involves moving the mode-setting code for video adapters from the user-space X server drivers into the Linux kernel. This may seem like an uninteresting topic for end-users, but having the mode-setting done in the kernel allows for a cleaner and richer boot process, improved suspend and resume support, and more reliable VT switching (along with other advantages). Kernel mode-setting isn't yet in the mainline Linux kernel nor is the API for it frozen, but Fedora 9 shipping next month will be the first major distribution carrying this initial support. In this article we're looking more closely at kernel mode-setting with the Intel X.Org driver as well as showing videos of kernel-based mode-setting in action.
16 April 2008 - 82 Comments
In the last quarter of 2007 AMD was on a spree with their proprietary Linux driver as they introduced their new OpenGL driver, which brought major performance improvements, and that was followed by AIGLX support. This year, however, their Catalyst Linux driver activity has been relatively quiet for end-users. Since switching over to this much-improved code-base, they have been able to deliver same-month product support for their new graphics processors such as the Radeon HD 3650, 3850/3870, and the 780G-based IGP, which once couldn't be said for this company that had taken them a half-year to
deliver support for the Radeon X1000 (R500) and Radeon HD 2000 (R600) product families. Today the Catalyst 8.4 Linux driver has been released, and like the 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 drivers, this month's update comes with minimal changes.
11 April 2008 - 37 Comments
Last week it was exclusively reported by Phoronix that a new NVIDIA binary Linux display driver should be out in the next week, and sure enough we were right, again. The NVIDIA 173.08 Linux driver was released last night and features support for several new NVIDIA GPUs, including the GeForce 9800 series, experimental support for X Server 1.5, and a number of fixes with Linux 2.6.25 kernel compatibility.
10 April 2008 - 4 Comments
It's been a long time in the making, but the xf86-video-radeonhd 1.2 driver has just been pushed out the door. RadeonHD 1.2 is the first new release for this open-source ATI R500/600 driver since December of last year. The RadeonHD 1.2 driver includes support for new AMD graphics processors, 2D XAA/EXA acceleration, and other changes.